A mysterious cache of 60 kilograms of high explosives, uncovered by RCMP earlier this week, were found on the property of a retired Saskatoon police officer, CBC News has learned.

The officer, Ian Findlay, was a nationally-ranked combat pistol shooter with the force. He died in October from heart disease.

Findlay lived on an acreage north of Saskatoon where RCMP dug up 60 kilograms of high explosives, which police say were stolen.

How the explosives ended up on the property is still under investigation.   

Former Saskatoon mayor Jim Maddin worked with Findlay when they were both on the force.

"He always struck me, anyway, and a number of others, as the type of police officer who would deal with the situation and arrive at some result one way or the other and get the job done," Maddin said of his former colleague.

Roland Miles from Dryden, Ontario also recalls shooting with Findlay.

 "Ian was a fantastic sportsman," Miles said. "He went out of his way help other competitors out."

RCMP believe the explosives had been underground for at least a decade.

Over eight hours, police dug up and destroyed some of the explosives, which were found in a remote wooded area on an acreage.

The military demolition charges had been manufactured during the Second World War but were still functional.

With files from CBC's Dan Zakreski