I've just tried doing exactly as you have described and it appears to work correctly. I'm using the 16.5 physical viewer and performing the following steps:
1. Turned all subclasses off except Pkg_geom - Place bound top and bottom and Pin - Top and bottom
2. Ensured I have no other active commands and zoomed in to an arbitrarily small area anywhere on the board. (This might be the important step you are missing)
3. Selected the "I" icon (information)
4. Selected Find - Symbols only
5. Using "Find By Name" selected "Symbol (or Pin)"
6. Clicked "More" to open the "Find by Name or Property" menu.
7. Arbitrarily selected a component from the list of refdes on the left and observed it being added to the "Selected objects" list on the right.
8. Clicked "Ok" and observed my screen automatically zoom and highlight the selected component.
Let me know how you make out.