The FBI said it has received a “tremendous” amount of video from the public taken near the Marathon’s finish line where bombings killed three people and stunned the nation Monday.

Crucial evidence could turn up in video shot on smartphones and other recorders. The challenge: How to sort through all those images quickly and effectively.

Experts say analyzing so much content is a mountainous task and believe it will take months to process the digital evidence from what Boston police commissioner Edward F. Davis called the most photographed event in the country that day.

“It’s a very tedious process,” said Andrew Obuchowski Jr., an associate director at Navigant Consulting Inc. in New York and a former law enforcement forensic video analyst. “Trying to be able to get through it quickly is a challenge.”

The process is cumbersome due to the limits of software that automatically processes such content. Investigators still must watch most of it and then enter information into a database by hand.

Law enforcement officials in Canada took this approach to 5,000 hours of video evidence captured in the 2011 Vancouver hockey riots. A special team of forensic experts spent two weeks manually processing the data, which captured thousands of crimes.

Experts say this part of the Boston investigation could take four to five times as long, based on the sheer volume of amateur imagery captured.

“Every single person down at the Marathon who had a cellphone was collecting evidence for police,” said Grant Fredericks, who led the team that analyzed the video evidence in Vancouver. “They didn’t know it at the time, but they probably have every inch of that event covered for every second of that day.”

Investigations into the attacks on London’s public transit system in 2005 and the Times Square bombing attempt in 2010 were also aided by video and photo evidence.

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