Bundle Expo Assets takes forever in ejected bare build.

When I build the ejected bare app for debug, everything works fine. But when I build for release, it always gets stuck on:
Run custom shell script 'Bundle Expo Assets’
Sometimes it eventually finishes after 20 mins, sometimes it stops throwing a TLS connection error.
It seems like that script is hashing and copying images (very slow, about 2-5 tiny images per second).

A few questions:

  1. Is it normal that it’s so slow? These image files are 2-30 kb each.
  2. shouldn’t these files be all cached like with expo publish? Or Is it because I’m doing something wrong?
  3. Anything I can do to make the release build faster?

Thank you!