Barber suggested that Hoffman had hollowed out the tree himself saying, "Hoffman has worked as tree trimmer."
Knox County prosecutor John Thatcher said Hoffman would likely be brought up on additional charges.
"I can't speculate on what those charges might be without knowing what the evidence is," said Thatcher.
Hoffman is scheduled to appear in court again Tuesday.
Both Barber and Thatcher appeared emotional at times, calling the case one of the worst they had ever encountered.
"The tragedy today is just devastating," said Thatcher. "The results aren't what we wanted them to be."
Police immediately focused the search for Sarah's family members near Hoffman's home, homing in on a park a short walk from the house where he kept the girl confined.
Police said that after his arrest Hoffman was placed on suicide watch and had not been cooperating with their investigation. He appeared in court Tuesday wearing an anti-suicide smock, and his bail was set at $1 million.
Police said Sarah was in good health, staying with her father and cooperating with the investigation.
All four people were last seen Nov. 10 at the family home in Howard, Ohio, about 10 miles from Hoffman's house in Mount Vernon. Police were initially called to the family's home when Herrmann did not show up for work at a local Dairy Queen. When police searched the home, they found it splattered with blood.
Early on in the investigation, Police temporarily locked down nearby Kenyon College when Hermann's pickup truck was found parked on the campus one day after cops had observed it in the family's driveway.
The only known connection between Hoffman and Maynard and her family is that Hoffman's parents live within walking distance of Maynard's mother's home.
Neighbors described Hoffman's behavior as "bizarre," saying they would see him climbing trees, spying on them from the boughs, building fires on his front lawn and killing small animals.
"He was killing the squirrels because he doesn't grocery shop," neighbor Kara Fowler told ABC News. "He would actually kill the squirrels and eat them."
ABC News' Russell Goldman contributed to this report.