An e-fit released in the search for a toddler who disappeared 36 years ago may be years old, the BBC has learned.
Katrice Lee, from Hartlepool, went missing from a Naafi supermarket at a military base in Paderborn, Germany where her family was stationed.
The Royal Military Police (RMP) said the man in the picture was seen putting a child in a green car in the same area where Katrice was last seen in 1981.
It refused to say when the e-fit was made, or if it had been newly found.
In a statement the force said it had been "reassessing all evidence... in conjunction with new evidence received".
"During that process, this piece of evidence was deemed useful to the investigation, so the RMP are duly appealing for fresh information from it," a spokesman said.
The RMP refused to confirm or deny this meant they had found the e-fit while reassessing evidence and decided to release it.
It also refused to confirm it had been created recently, using either new or old evidence.
An RMP spokesperson said: "This is a newly identified line of inquiry as a result of analysing approximately 11,000 documents including eye witness statements."
The image was shown on the BBC's Crimewatch on Monday night.
Katrice's father Richard Lee said he did not know if the picture of the man was a new image or one that police have been "sitting on for so long".
"We all live in hope, a lot of people have said to me how do I maintain hope, all I can say is hope maintains me," he said.
"At the end of the day this is about a girl who has been missing and I want her back."