'Tom's paving the way to come back to Suri's life permanently - and many expect it to happen soon.'
The father-daughter reunion is long overdue. On June 29, 2012, Tom was left blindsided after Katie, 39, abruptly ended their nearly six-year-marriage, reportedly engineering a dramatic exit, which included moving apartments, changing cell phone numbers and hiring new security.
'He was absent for one milestone after another,' a second source tells OK!
Tom has not been photographed with his daughter in years.
'That would be painful for any child - you have to wonder what kind of emotional toll it [took] on Suri.'
Even worse, 'Tom's always been allowed to see Suri for 10 days a month, but he's never taken Katie up on the offer to do so,' says the insider, noting that the Church of Scientology requires members to 'disconnect' with those who leave the controversial religion.
'Tom couldn't reach out because Katie fled the religion.'
The insider tells, 'Tom wields a lot of power in the church and sees himself as an important person. He believes he can bypass the rigid rule.'
'His deal with the church is he's moving to Florida and building a home base there to build up membership, but what he's really doing is setting the stage for a reunion with Suri.'
'Suri's growing up so fast, and he feels like he's missed out on so much. He wants her to be a part of his life.'
Tom is yet to respond to OK!'s report.