Man who sexually abused girl identified after public search

German authorities say they have identified a man who sexually abused a young girl, a few hours after they had taken the unusual step of publishing a photograph of the girl and calling on the public for help.

Germany's federal crime office said in a tweet late Monday they successfully ended the search, and asked everyone to delete pictures of the girl.

Frankfurt prosecutor Georg Ungefuk told German news agency dpa the suspect is a German citizen and the victim a 4-year-old German girl.

Prosecutors have said the girl was severely sexually assaulted multiple times between October 2016 and July 2017.

The abuse was filmed and photographed by a "very cautious" suspect, who then distributed the images on a child pornography platform on the so-called "darknet," a restricted access computer network often used by criminals.