DNA traces helped police identify and arrest a Frenchman suspected of 33 rapes or attempted rapes in a suburban Paris forest from 1995 to 2001.

A judicial official said Wednesday the 40-year-old man was arrested Monday in Lille. The official said the man was identified through DNA found on rape victims and genetic material from three of the suspect's brothers found in French criminal databases.

The official was not authorized to be publicly named discussing an ongoing investigation.

The suspect, from the suburb of Corbeil-Essonnes, was not identified. He could face preliminary charges later Wednesday.

His arrest revives hope of a conclusion to one of France's biggest unsolved criminal cases. For years, fear of a serial rapist haunted the Senart Forest, where women jogging or walking alone were repeatedly targeted.