I don't know from your pics or story, but did they have bees in that spot before? From one of the pics, I can't tell if you had already removed some combs are I'm looking at remnants of comb that was removed once before.
So they told you after you had found the bees that they sealed the original access point?
I did one 3 yrs ago where an older gentleman kept sealing entrances. The bees were entering 18' from the original access point, traveling through the walls to get over to where the colony had originally established itself. A real pain in the arse.
Glad you were able to figure this one out.