Police frogmen are continuing to search a river near to where missing British teenager Alice Gross was last seen as a knife found in the water is sent for forensic analysis.
Hundreds of officers have been involved in the hunt for the 14 year old since she disappeared more than three weeks ago and attention will again focus on the River Brent and its banks near Ealing Hospital in west London.
The knife was recovered from the river in front of press photographers, a spokesman said, as Scotland Yard issued a further appeal for information on her whereabouts and that of Arnis Zalkalns, who has been identified as a suspect.
The spokesman added: “The knife will be taken away for analysis but it is too early to say if it’s connected. We are focusing on the same area as we were yesterday.”
Divers and forensic teams will continue to scour the area for clues as to what might have happened to Alice after she was last seen on CCTV walking home.
The force has come under fire for taking four days to ask Latvian authorities for help in finding Zalkalns, who served seven years in prison after he was convicted of bludgeoning and stabbing his wife Rudite Zalkalns to death in his native country.
He went missing on September 3, six days after Alice was last seen walking alongside the Grand Union Canal in west London on August 28.
She was caught on CCTV that afternoon walking back towards her home in Hanwell, and Zalkalns, who was convicted of murder in 1998, was seen 15 minutes later riding past the same spot on a mountain bike.
He left his passport at his house in Ealing, west London, and police in Latvia confirmed he has not entered the country by plane but conceded it was possible he could have got in undetected if he travelled by car or coach.
It has also emerged that he was arrested on suspicion of indecently assaulting a 14-year-old girl in the UK in 2009, but no further action was taken.
The Metropolitan Police said that 600 officers from eight forces have searched nine square miles of open land and 3.4 miles of canals and rivers in the largest deployment of search assets for an ongoing investigation since the July 7 terrorist attacks of 2005.
Scotland Yard have insisted they have no evidence to suggest that Alice, who suffers from anorexia, has come to harm.
General labourer Zalkalns, who works at a building site in Isleworth, west London, is thought to have come to the UK in 2007, but authorities here apparently had no record of his murder conviction.
A reward of up to £20,000 is being offered for anyone who has information that leads detectives to find Alice.
Zalkalns is white, 5ft 10ins and stocky, with dark brown hair that he normally wears tied in a pony tail.
Police have said that he “potentially poses a risk to the public” and have asked anyone who sees him not to approach him and to dial 999.