MISSOULA, Mont. -

U.S. Senate candidate Champ Edmunds says he found a backpack containing more than $12,000 in cash outside a Missoula church.

The Republican jokingly told Lee Newspapers of Montana his first thought was that somebody had left money for his campaign.

Edmunds found the backpack Sunday outside Journey Christian Fellowship in Missoula, where he is a deacon.

He says he called police after finding crisp $100 bills inside. The pack also contained six cellphones, an electronic tablet and forms with the name of someone with outstanding arrest warrant.

Missoula Police Sgt. Travis Welsh says the department is searching for the backpack's owner and trying to determine whether it's connected to a crime.

Edmunds is seeking the GOP nomination for Senate against Rep. Steve Daines and newcomer Susan Cundiff.