Jerusalem was not “chosen” for several centuries after the Israelites entered the land. However, Dueteronomy 12:1 makes it very clear that the instructions Moses was giving had to be followed as long as they lived in the land, and a scant few verses later, 12:5 contains the first mention of the “place YHWH will choose”, the central place of sacrifice and pilgrimage feasts. It was the only place these things could be done. No other place was authorized for these activities.
The very end of chapter 11 aludes to the chosen place as Mount Gerizim just before this first mention in 12:5, but one can easily confirm that Mount Gerizim is the chosen place by looking at the instructions for the special ceremony to be held on Mounts Gerizim and Ebal. The instructions included sacrifices, which could ONLY be done at the chosen place. Thus the chosen place is Mount Gerizim.
Compare also the commandment to read the Torah before the entire nation at the chosen place in Deuteronomy 31, to it’s fulfillment at the end of Joshua 8. Again, the Israelites are at this ceremony on Mount Gerizim/Ebal.
A problem is that the Masoretic text suggests the altar was built on Ebal. This is illogical. The priests were from the tribe of Levi, and the Levites were stationed on Mount Gerizim for this ceremony. In fact, the most prominent tribes were all on Gerizim. Scholars have long wrested with the altar being built on the mountain of curses rather than the mountain of blessing. And, we have the Old Latin which preserves the original reading showing the altar being built on Gerizim, as well as the fragment of Deuteronomy 27:4 from Qumran in Judean script no less preserving this reading as well.
Also compare to Exodus 15:17, part of the song of the sea which they sang after the miraculous sea crossing. It reads:
[Exo 15:17 NET] 17 You will bring them in and plant them in the mountain of your inheritance, in the place you made for your residence, O Lord, the sanctuary, O LORD, that your hands have established.
This verse speaks about a location that is already established and known as the place YHWH had established for a residence. The first mention of the chosen place in Deuteronomy 12:5 also calls it the place he has chosen for his residence. It’s really quite clear and obvious if you put all the pieces together.
The truth as I see it after a good year of studying this issue is that the Judeans in fact abandoned the original chosen place for their own political purposes, wanting Jerusalem instead to be that chosen place, and then edited the text, changing the original “has chosen” to “will chose” in the chosen place passages in Deuteronomy, as well as changing Gerizim to Ebal in Deuteronomy 27:4.
The Israelite Samaritans claim that Eli, from the disfavored line of Ithimar, was unable to obtain the high priesthood he coveted, and thus took a group of supporters and established a counterfeit tabernacle and priesthood in Shiloh. This is the tent that was eventually moved to Jerusalem, and morphed into a temple (Jerusalem nor a temple ever being authorized by the Torah, whereas the Shechem area was very obviously a special place to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and the exodus was all about returning there.)
This actually seems reasonable if you remove all bias and read the Judean account. We know from Deuteronomy that there is a central chosen place for sacrifice, and as well we know that YHWH instructed the Israelites to destroy the Caananite high places, and yet by the time of Samuel we find he is sacrificing at high places! (1 Sam 9 for example, when Samuel runs into Saul, the random handsome guy wandering around aimlessly in search of his father’s lost donkeys.) Samuel is violating YHWH’s commandments regarding the chosen place, and yet YHWH is said to be speaking to him about whom he has chosen to be king?
Contrast this with the story contained in Joshua 22 which shows how diligently the early Israelites were protecting the chosen place commandments.
A more comprehensive detailing of this can be found here.