Given that in the Old Testament there was an explicit warning against making images. How was the making of statues for the honoring of saints approved by the Church or how did it come about?
The commandment against idolatry forbids the worship of statues, not the use them to honor or remember someone as the Catholic Church does. In fact, the proper use of religious statues is found throughout the Old Testament. For a more in-depth explanation see ?Do Catholics Worship Statues