I can give you a tip about animation. I know that may not help you with your specific problem, but maybe can give you an insight.
I've recently passed by a similar circumstance, not in a search but in a registration, (that was taking more than 10 seconds). We've decided to show the real process behind the creation of an account, with bullet points that looked like "creating your account..." "setting up your environment" that was shown one by one, in a way that we could entertain the user.
After the process is complete, the phrase turns into another colour, with a "check" icon replacing the bullet, and the message changes to "Account created with success!"
It really smooth out the experience.